tv Larry King Live CNN August 27, 2010 9:00pm-10:00pm EDT
families whose lives were forever changed by a series of tragic events, one storm, one surprising turn. changing course that led to one of the worst natural disasters in u.s. history. >> larry: tonight, harry connick jr., it's been five years since hurricane katrina devastated his beloved new orleans. he shared the heart breaking pain was. >> it's almost unbelievable. i can't even think of how to articulate it. >> larry: and now his efforts to repair, rebuild and recover. >> people are living here now
and establishing a whole new tradition. so it's pretty exciting for me to walk these streets. >> larry: on the scene in new orleans, the man who believes music revives. ♪ won't your give your lady a fair little smile ♪ ♪ for the beautiful dreams ♪ way down yonder in new orleans ♪ >> larry: harry connick jr. is next on "larry king live." ♪ that's new orleans right there ♪ ♪ this is heaven right here ♪ for the beautiful queens ♪ way down yonder in new orleans ♪ >> larry: it was five years ago this weekend that hurricane katrina ravaged the gulf coast. that storm killed more than 1,800 people, destroyed more than a quarter of a million homes, countless families were shattered economically and emotionally. here to talk about his beloved new orleans tonight is harry
connick jr., the grammy and emmy winning performer, has sold more than 20 million albums world war, he's a terrific ablg for and great talent. he's a special guest on the new album, music redeems, featuring new orleans' own marsalis family. where were you, harry, on august 29, 2005, the day katrina hit the gulf coast? >> i was in cape cod on vacation, larry, and i was watching the news as everybody else was. and the person that came to my mind was how can i get down there and i kind of fin neighled my way down, obviously you could end find an easy path to new orleans. but i ended up getting down here the day after, stayed for a few days, just to try to really looking for my dad because i couldn't get through, you know the phone lines were down and
everything. so i spent the first part of it, you know, just making sure my dad was all right and my family and my friends and things like that. >> larry: when you first heard about it, that a hurricane had hit, did you have thoughts that it could be this bad? >> well, new orleans has gone through many hurricanes,down, forever. i remember my mother telling me a story about it was either hurricane betsy or hurricane camille, i think around 1969, i get them mixed up. but she used to tell me that she had to hold on to me because the wind was blowing so strong and, you know, hurricanes are something that new orleanians are used to. something we did not expect was the levees leaking. i grew up in lake view close to where one of the levees was breached. we used to play on those levees growing up. it was kind of a big playground
for us. to think that that mammoth structure would have been broken by the pressure of the water inconceivable to most of us down here. >> larry: harry connick, you were on this show on september 3, 2005, when we did a three-hour special about how people could help the victims of katrina. we showed a heart wrenching photo and asked you to tell the story behind it. let's all watch it again. >> that woman was born in new orleans, she's outside the convention center, she's dead. and that woman was born a long time ago and she died on the street like an animal, essentially. and you can see a white sheet, that's another dead body there and it's -- this is the united states, this is new orleans, and i put my hand on that woman's arm and i prayed, i said, she's going to earn a high place in heaven. i'm not equipped to do this, i'm not a professional and i'm not
trained in this, all i could do was touch her arm and look at her beautiful brown skin and thank god that, you know,some help was finally coming for these people, larry, because it's just -- it's almost unbelievable, i can't even think of words to articulate it. >> larry: harry, the time you spent in new orleans in the aftermath of katrina, how did it affect you personally? how did you deal with it as a child of that city? >> well, you know, it just -- i had never -- none of us had ever been through anything like this before and i think everybody put on their toughest exterior to sort of march through it as best as we could. i remember, let's see it, it must have been the friday afterwards, nbc put on a big fund-raiser on tv and i was fine up until then, i felt like i had gone through this shock
relatively unscathed. and i remember sitting in the audience at the rehearsal and aaron neville was seeing that song "louisiana" by randy newman and i completely lost it. and two of my kids were there and they were looking at me, they had never seen me cry before, i'm not -- i don't cry very much anyway, but, oh, it was just -- it's impossible not to be affected by it. it really was one of the most devastating things i had ever seen. i have never been around that, you know, i mean in my trade, you know as an actor, you see things, but this is your home, your country, and it was just very, very difficult to witness. >> larry: did it affect you the first time you performed after it? >> you know, i remember somebody came up to me on the street in new orleans and said, man, you should do a record about this. and i felt so strange to hear
that because i hadn't thought about music and the last thing i wanted to do was play music, this is so much bigger than playing the piano and singing, it just seemed to trivial to me, larry, why would want to -- i couldn't even -- and i have never really -- there was one song i did write because it was in response to the people at the convention center, it was called all these people was the name of the song, which was just a -- kind of a blatant way for me to just get some of this emotion out. but that's -- i'm not good at that. this was too heavy -- some things i can't write about, terrible personal tragedies and i think about the vantage point that i had in comparison to some of the people that actually lived through it. it's just amazing when you think of the progress that's been made, it was a horrible time. >> did harry connick jr. think that new orleans would recover
from what happened five years ago, that the good times would roll again? we'll ask him when we come back. ♪ there's all these people just waiting there ♪ ♪ there were all these people just waiting there for someone ♪ ♪ but nobody came ♪ nobody saw ♪ nobody wanted to go that far ♪ there were all these people waiting there ♪ ♪ i was so damned scared i held hands with a crazy man ♪ comes in a liquid gel. zyrtec® liquid gels work fast, so i can love the air®.
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every person is here ordered to immediately evacuate the city of new orleans. we are facing a storm that most of us have feared. >> larry: we're back with harry connick jr. it's five years, what do you see and feel when you're there? what it like now? >> it's really exciting now. things are really turning around. from what i can see, i think generally things are really improving. i think new orleans has a long way to go, but certainly if there were lessons to be learned from hurricane katrina, i think the people here, the government, the citizens, everybody's learned those lessons and they
seem to be moving along. you couple that with the super bowl victory in february, it really has a positive energy down here now. it's pretty exciting. something i didn't think i would feel in five years, that's for sure. >> larry: football is very important to new orleans? >> those are guys that we root for. the whole time after katrina, i remember the first game in the superdome, i think they played the falcons and i was there after katrina. they were the life preserver for the whole city and for anybody associated with new orleans. they were just the lifeline, man, and the fact that they won the super bowl is just -- they didn't have to do that. they just had to show up and play for us, but the fact that
they won it really was special. it was a real bonus. >> larry: did you know, harry, there are many people that had doubts that new orleans could recover. there was some who even thought whether it should be rebuilt. how did you feel about that when you heard that? >> i didn't pay much mind to it, larry. you know, when you walk door to door and you go to neighborhoods, it's just too vibrant of a city, it's too intricate and complex of a city, the history here is too vast and too deep to even consider things like that. i'm sure that there are reasonable people that had some reasonable projections about the future of new orleans, but none of those could include not trying to rebuild the city and make it better than it was before. there's just too much passion here. and people will say, well, new orleans is below sea level and the coastline is being taken
away, you know, daily, and, you know, the oil spill and this and that. you're not going to change the attitude of the people here. you're not going to change my attitude, this is new orleans, it's one of the great cities in the world. and it's going to continue to be one of the great cities and it's going to improve. so i can understand how people would want to impose some logical sort of thought, not that our version is illogical, but i can see how they would want to put some math behind it and say, oh, well, maybe it won't work. but that's not going to happen, the people down here are going to prosper. >> larry: were you always optimistic? did you always think new orleans would come back? >> well, i'm an optimist, i mean, you're looking at a guy who has a manager who's created a life for me that -- i mean i don't pay phone bills and electric bills, i have somebody to do that for me. i have been very, very lucky and i live in this insular sort of
world so everything's got a silver lining as far as i'm concerned. i mean i play piano and sing for a living, it doesn't get any more idealistic than that. i love this city, i know it's going to come back. i just -- it's just too -- it's just too -- the people are too great here, you know, the spirit of the people is too strong. you know, you go to cities all over the world, larry, you know how it is, and some cities just have that special electricity and some don't. and new orleans is at the top of the list as far as that goes. people come from all over the world to see what this city is about and they leave saying oh, my god, i have never seen anything like that. you're not going to -- you don't have to be idealistic to feel that. >> larry: there are three cities in america that have that feeling, i put new orleans there, san francisco and boston. there are no cities like new orleans, san francisco and boston. nothing like them.
you told us, harry, when you were -- >> i agree. >> larry: when you were on our katrina special five years ago, that your relatives had come through okay, your dad, your aunts, your uncles, but you also said that your personal history was destroyed. the house you grew up in was gone. that had to leave a permanent affect didn't it? >> yeah, it was so weird, because normally when you think hurricane, and you think a house is destroyed, you think the house was blown away. but because of the unique situation with the levees here and the proximity of my house to the levees, the storm didn't blow the house away, the house was still intact, it was just filled with ten feet of water. so when i finally got there to the house after the water had e rece receded, i probably wasn't supposed to do this, i don't even know if i have told anybody about this. but i walked into the house. i hadn't been there since i was 12 years old and i walked right
into my room, i walked right into the kitchen, the living room. and it was like a time machine, obviously everything was dishevelled and mold was covering everything, but u walked -- i remember walking into the master bathroom where my dad would get dressed for work, you know, and where he put shaving cream on my face before i shaved and all of these memories started coming back, the mantle in the living room where we opened christmas presents and it was all still there. and i would never have that opportunity unless i had gone and knocked on the door and asked to come in, which i wouldn't do anyway, it was just a profound, very, very strange feeling. and since then, you know, they tore the house down because it was irreparable after the mold and things. but it's sad, you know, you see the place you grew up be taken down like that. >> larry: harry connick jr. is
our special guest tonight. he's part of a new album called "music redeems" that benefits new orleans. we're going to talk about that next. >> you could hear people yelling for help and nobody would come. >> you can't tell me 40,000 people are coming down here, they're not here. >> i see the despair, i see the desperation. on a new cadillac cts sport sedan... ..the most acclaimed vehicle in its class and a car and driver 10 best third year in a row. summer brings out the best in all of us, so now's the perfect time to get behind the wheel of a brand new cadillac. now during cadillac's summer's best sales event... get zero percent apr financing for 72 months or this attractive lease offer on a cts sport sedan.
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>> larry: the music you just heard is from the new album "music redeems" it's a live recording with harry and the marsalis family, and it benefits the ellis marsalis musician's village. tell me how you got together. >> larry, you should say the marsalis family with harry, because i just was a small part of this recording. it was a great event because for the people who may not know, ellis marsalis is one of our national treasures, he's one of the great live pianoists alive today. and he's one of the best -- to have all of the sons and ellis on stage at the same time
playing a concert is pretty overwhelming. i was a student of ellis's and to be invited to play with these guys, these are my heroes, to play on stage with them is just incredible and i'm very distracted talking to you right now because diagonally across the street is what is soon to become the ellis center for music. now i'm looking at the actual building and seeing what it's going to become and it's just unbelievable and to be a part of this album that will raise money in turn for the center is -- i never thought it would happen, i was just so blown away. >> larry: what, harry is the purpose of the center? >> it's multifaceted, larry, i remember going from new orleans to houston to visit the evacuees, and branford was in
the back of the car with me. we said what can we do to try to bring the musicians back to new orleans? and both of us came up with an idea of putting a school together. well, our manager, anne marie wilkins decides it might be better to concentrate on a place for the people to live because if they didn't have a place to live, they wouldn't enjoy the benefits of this community center. first we -- which will include performing space, recording facilities, classrooms, internet access for people around the neighborhood, a toddler park. it's just this fantastic complex that is named after one of the great musicians of our time. >> larry: how much of your music education was formal? >> probably, most of it, i mean
when you say formally, you mean sitting in a classroom and practicing scales and things like that? >> larry: no. >> probably most of it, studying classical poiano competitions. but the good part of growing up in new orleans is a lot of it was informal, but the musicians that i would play with were so giving and so forthcoming with knowledge and experience, so even though it wasn't a formal setting, you could be very specific, well, why did you do this or how do you do that and everybody down here is aware of that's how the tradition is passed on, from the older guys to the younger guys. >> larry: did you always sing as well as play piano? >> i started singing when i was really young, probably six years old, and i would imitate louie armstrong, that was my favorite thing to do.
and as my voice changed, when i got to be a teenager, really singing was all about meeting girls. because they certainly weren't going to be interesting in a guy singing like louie armstrong or playing jazz music, so if you could imitate stevie wonder or michael jackson songs, that was more my interest with girls. so i started singing like that. and then as i got a little bit older, i said wait a minute, i'm a jazz musician, i need to do what i do. so the singing, i came -- i didn't study singing formally. >> larry: harry mentioned his father earlier, his father was district attorney of new orleans. harry took our "larry king live" crew on a tour of musicians village. watch. >> five years ago was hurricane katrina and so many people died and lost their homes and all of these homes are the ones that we have helped build.
now we have an actual place where musicians live and will be able to teach with the ellis marsalis center for music, so it's an exciting time. just to think that this was just a vacant lot five years ago, it's pretty unbelievable. i mean people are living here now. and establishing a whole new tradition. so it's pretty exciting for me to walk these streets. it's almost inconceivable to mention new orleans without music, so the fact that we have the musicians village now, it puts a firm hold on tradition. bob french is a great drummer. he lives in the village now and it's the coolest thing in the world that he lives right here. he's going to be able to teach young drummers and continue the tradition. >> if they ever want to get the
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♪ won't you give your lady a fair little smile ♪ ♪ for the beautiful dreams way down yonder in new orleans ♪ >> larry: we're back with harry connick jr. on this very special weekend, the fifth anniversary of hurricane katrina. add to katrina a lot of new orleans musicians disbursed around the country, have many come back? >> i think so, i don't know the numbers, but a lot of musicians that i know moved back here. and i think it's doing pretty well, but don't quote me on that, only because i don't have access to, you know, who moved back other than the people that i know. but i think so. >> larry: is the musical scene still prominent? i mean you can't think of new orleans without music. >> oh, it's very prominent. there are musicians who have gone on to do national and
international things and there's a huge local music scene here, you could come to new orleans and basically go hear music every night in a different place, a different venue, hear different artists. there's a ton of music here, as a matter of fact, the musicians village, 80% of the people living here are musicians and their families. i fancy the previous question, i think a lot of the musicians have come back. >> larry: the bp oil spill in the gulf, still a major problem, how big a set back for the city as you see it? >> larry, i don't know much about it, all i know, my efforts are really focused on the musicians village. i don't know how people in politics can multitask like that. i mean i'm so involved with what's going on here with the center for music, i don't have the skill nor the knowledge to -- i don't know anything about the bp oil spill other than what i read in the paper and see on the news.
so i don't know how that's going to affect things. i have heard some things about where some money might go to, you know, come back into the community, but i'm not the guy to ask about that. >> larry: we went down to new orleans to do a special with brad pitt. are you surprised and excited about how involved he has gotten with that city? >> i think it's great. i remember right after the storm when i heard about his involvement, i wrote him a note. i don't know whether he ever got it. i wrote him to thank him for his commitment. let's face it the guy is very well known and well liked and we need all the help we can get, whether it's brad pitt or somebody hammering nails that you never heard of. i mean the fact that he's really committed to it. five years later the guy's down here all the time, doing a great job, i think he's a god send and i hope i can meet him and shake his hand one day and thank him
in person. >> larry: it shouldn't be hard, harry. >> i met him once a long time ago. >> larry: where do you live? >> i moved -- i live in connecticut now. i moved up to new york. i travel in and out of new york it seemed a good place to be and i have three children and i like the schools up there. and i kind of got stuck there. all three of my girls want to move back to new orleans. so i think at some point we're going to end up back down here for sure. >> larry: all right, let's touch a few other bases, what's the deal, the possibility everybody's talking about it, you may be a judge on "american id idol" i know they voted you the best celebrity host ever to be involved in that show. ryan seacrest said that nobody cooperated more than harry connick. are you going to be a judge? >> they asked me if i wanted to be, it looks like fun, but there
hasn't really been a whole lot of discussion about it. i think they have -- it's a huge business and they have a lot of sorting out to do. so i haven't really been in contact with them much. there have been some discussions about it, but nothing that would indicate that anything's going to go forward. but, you know, we'll see when it happens. i had a great time on the show. and i like that. and that goes back to actually being with ellis marsalis. he's such a great mentor and there were infinite clinics and master classes that i go to, when you're asked to be a mentor, you're supposed to spend time with the contestants and the people in the classroom and show them what you know. i just like that, i like that environment. so it was a breeze doing "american idol" because that's what i grew up doing. >> larry: and i'm going to ask you about mentoring right after these words, don't go away. ring ring. progresso.
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season 9 sang sinatra's single life. harry was a mentor, and he coached the contestants on the music of sinatra, you arranged their songs and accompanied them. we know what they took away from it. what did you take away from the experience? >> i just had a great time. i thought it was really fun, you know? it's really fun, you know what the strangest part was for me, larry? was they had rehearsal and you know when there's somebody on stage and they have the people seated in the audience, but there's all those kids kind of standing in front of the stage and they dance. when i came out to sing, i sang that song "and i love her" by the beatles. i remember they had these kids in there for rehearsarehearsal. and these kids are so ready to jump up and down and scream in unison and when i started to sing, i don't know if they had ever heard acoustic music
before, i don't know if they had ever heard -- that was the most unusual part. >> larry: lady gaga performed on that same show with you. some people were hoping that you would do a duet, that didn't happen. what do you think of her? >> i think she's extremely creative. i mean clearly, you know, she loves to make art, you know, and i think that's something we have in common. you know, i would love to sing something with her. i know my kids would love it probably more than i would, they think she's just terrific. and you know, she's very, very interesting and i like that. i also like the fact that from what i have heard, she's had classical training. so it's more than a creative spirit, i think she's got some chops behind there to sort of back it up and that's always nice to know. >> larry: she was a great guest
on this show by the way. you recently told "usa today" that you decided building a relationship with a live audience is a lot like going on a date. you have been married for 16 years. you ever remember dating? >> it's hard -- it's hard to remember, i have been with my wife for 20 years now, but i do remember that it's really good to listen, you know, and it's really not a good idea to talk about yourself the whole time. and i guess how that translates on to stage is you kind of -- i mean, you know how it is, i mean you're the best there is at listening to people and if they go off track, you sort of -- you can throw the note cards away and have an organic conversation with people and that's how i like to perform. what are you going to do if you're singing a song, a series of songs and you feel like the people want to hear a ballad and you're on this program set list and you got a fast song, i don't like that constraint, i like to
be able to go wherever it goes, you know? >> larry: harry connick jr., he earned a tony nomination for "pajama game" he recently did an 11 performance concert at the neil simon theater. he's writing words and music for a musical to be directed by george c. wolfe. we'll talk about music in our remaining hometowns, there are only two coming up. back with harry connick jr. in new orleans when we come back.
tonight on 360, a video from inside that chilean mine, they're not expected to be rescued for months, we'll tell you about a plan to get them out early. safety procedures called into question at that mine. and keeping them honest here at home. we find that mine regulators are overlooking mines in this
country. glen beck's rally set to begin tomorrow on the steps of the lincoln memorial on the anniversary of martin luther king's i have a dream speech. those stories and a lot more at the top of the hour. >> larry: we're back with harry connick jr. the reports are you're doing a movie with morgan freeman and ashley judd called dolphin tail, a true story about a dolphin who loses her tail. is that true why you're doing the film? >> i am. we go down, i think it starts shooting right around october 1. and i know ashley, i have had a chance to work with her before, she's lovely and so talented and i'm so excited i'm working with morgan freeman. it automatically sort of raises your cashe when you say you're working with someone like that, it vicariously makes you a better actor. not even having met him, i'm a
better actor because i'm going to work with him. it's a true story, this dolphin gets caught in a net and they have to amputate it's tail, or it's fluke technically, and eventually the dolphin receives a prosthetic fluke and is alive today in clearwater, florida. it's kinds of an inspiring, sweet movie, i'm excited about it. >> larry: you co-starred in a movie with sandra bullock "hope floats" a while back. and she's a great supporter of new orleans. what do you think about what she's gone through? >> she sure has. you know, i'm sorry that she's -- i think of sandy as -- she's an incredible woman and she doesn't need my prayers or my -- she's so strong, i pray for her and i send her emails and tell her i love her and i hope she's doing well. that woman is one of the fiercest, strongest most
dedicated people i know. and it sucks, man, it really -- let's put it this way, if she were my wife, i would be on my knees thanking god that i had a woman like that. that's just me. everybody's different, but i know her pretty well and i know i would be -- like my wife now, man, i wouldn't screw that up for all the money in the world or for anything. this means a lot. means a lot, you know. it's -- it's a pretty serious commitment. again, i'm not passing judgment on anybody, larry. i don't want to come off like i'm doing that. i just know how great she is. whoever ends up with her for good is going to be one lucky son of a gun. he really is. i know her son is -- doesn't even know how lucky he is. >> larry: your three daughters, they were pretty young when ka treen wra hit. do they ask about it? do you talk about it a lot with
them? >> we talk about it a little bit. my oldest is 14. i have one who will be 13. my youngest one, who is 8, is with me now, charlotte. she's sitting around here somewhere. i say, charlotte, this is the musician's village you hear me talking about. she's like, i know. i know where we are. they hear about it. it comes up in conversation a lot. they're pretty aware of it. my older two were here, helping build some of the houses and they're new orleans' freaks. they tell people they were born in new orleans even though they were born in connecticut. they're die hard saints' fans. you know, i mean like when the saints win games, they wear the jerseys to school. they are -- they're basically new orleanians. >> larry: did you want a son? >> you know, i -- i guess. i mean, like i have a lot of friends who have sons and i can see the dynamic is different when i'm with boys than it is with girls. >> larry: oh, yeah. >> i know the girl thing real --
well, i think i do. i'm pretty used to having girls around. but there's something a little bit different about boys, but, man, i'm so lucky, i don't -- you know, i'll borrow one when i need one, one of my buddies. i'll take them fishing or something. i don't need to have one. i'll use them for a while. >> larry: we'll be back for a remaining moment with harry connick jr. and then a special moment with dr. maya angelou. as we all know, geico has been saving people money on rv, camper and trailer insurance... ...as well as motorcycle insurance... gecko: oh...sorry, technical difficulties. boss: uh...what about this? gecko: what's this one do? gecko: um...maybe that one. ♪ dance music boss: ok, let's keep rolling. we're on motorcycle insurance. vo: take fifteen minutes to see how much you can save on motorcycle, rv, and camper insurance.
convention center. >> what these people are saying basically is give us some water, give us some food. don't leave us here to die. >> larry: back with our remaining moments. don't go away. we'll repeat something with dr. angelou. harry, do you worry? this is hurricane season, another one coming? >> i've been worrying about it since 2006. fortunately, new orleans has gone pretty unscathed. yeah, i worry about it. every august i think oh, my god, please let another year go by. so i hope they have it together. i really do. this is a scary time of year. >> larry: when do you go down -- do you go down and start filming next month? >> i'm sorry, go down filming, you say? >> larry: yeah. your new movie, that's next month, right? >> yes. yeah, yeah, yeah. we go down to -- we have a few
more dates on the west coast and part of my tour that's almost over and then i go down to clearwater, florida, for about three months to shoot the movie, with morgue. that's what we call him in the biz. >> larry: morg. in the biz. what are you doing out here on the west coast? >> we're doing -- we're playing up in seattle at that st. michel winery, playing a couple of dates in reno, all sort of on the west coast, sort of mid september through the end of september. >> larry: never get tired of it, do you? >> oh, man. you know how it is. i mean, man, it's -- i just love it! i love it so much. it's so much fun to go out before. when i was on broadway, we were doing show after show after show, doing six of them a week, 2 1/2, 3 hours a show. as soon as it would end, i would say is it time for the next one? maybe i'll burn out one day, but
i haven't yet. >> larry: harry, you're the best. thanks, harry. >> thanks, larry. >> larry: harry connick jr. we'll leave you tonight with something special. dr. maya angelou, poet, teacher, best selling author, activist, one of the most inspirational voices in american lit tur. on september 9th, 2004, she honored us with her words on katrina. they are as true today as they were five years ago. "ac 360" is next. first here is dr. angelou. >> when land became water and water begin to think it was god, consuming lives here, leaving lives there, swallowing buildings, devouring cities, intoxicated with its power, mighty power and the american people were tested.
as a result, there abides in the american psyche an idea so powerful it enables us and lifts us high above the problems which beset us. it can, in fact, evict fear. it can rest despair from its lodging. simply put, the idea is, yes, i can. i am an american and, yes, i can. i can overcome. the one time slave says i have proved and am proving that i can overcome slavery. the one-time slave owner says i have proved and i am proving that i can overcome slavery. the north then say i have proved and am still proving that i can
overcome the civil war. the south can say i have proved and i am still proving that i can overcome the civil war. with crime rampant in our streets, the americans can say our masses have not turned into masses of criminals. even with blissful peace, americans can say we have not been lulled into a contented laziness. the song that was so needed 100 years ago when it was written, so needed 50 years ago when it was used in the civil rights movement is of great use to us these days while we are still reeling from the onslaught of a violent hurricane.